COLUMN: Not in My America: What’s Left of the Left?

Denez McAdoo

Now that all the smoke and fire and brimstone have cleared, we have to face the fact that Bush is president for four more years.

If you supported Kerry you probably feel not only let down, but actually afraid. You may have joked about moving up to Canada if Bush won, but now that he has that prospect sounds mighty attractive right about now.

Well, for all you fellow spineless liberals out there let me reassure you: it’s worse than you think. Bush is not the problem. Kerry didn’t win and you know what? I don’t care.

Let’s be honest, Kerry kinda sucked and you probably voted for him simply because you hated Bush so much. And you probably did so very passionately. Really, I don’t see any situation that could have motivated the liberal voters to get out and vote more than in this election. And no thanks to Kerry himself, but because the word “war” on the lips of a liberal is like salt on snails.

It should have been a landslide. Record numbers came out to vote in this election. We got out the vote, we rocked it, we did everything that we could and it still wasn’t good enough.

When I heard that Bush was winning the electoral vote that bothered me for about 10 minutes, but I came to terms with it. After that I only hoped and prayed that Kerry won the popular vote. Not because it would have reversed the outcome, not because I just wanted to gloat, not because it really would have changed much of anything. I wanted it because I wanted something tangible to blame. I wanted to point my finger at the system and say maybe we can fix it. Maybe next time we can get just a few more votes. The government is corrupt? That doesn’t surprise me. No, instead the only thing I have to blame now is us – the American people. It is this that really scares me.

Bush is just one man. He’ll be gone in four years. Instead what we’re looking at is a serious conservative shift in the general political view of the American people, and this is something that won’t just go away in four years. This is what really scares me.

During the Gore/Bush election I arrogantly said that Gore’s problem was that he wasn’t a strong enough liberal, that he pandered to the center too much instead of motivating and unifying the left. I said that both candidates were boring farts and that’s why the election was so close. I ignorantly said the same thing about this election. Kerry, instead of motivating the left into strong support, flip-flopped his way into center-left ambiguity. I thought – does he think that instead of voting for Bush, people are going to want to vote for Bizarro Bush? Bush Light? The low-carb Bush? I said that Kerry should grow a pair of gonads and come out and say that he opposed the war and take pride in being a Massachusetts liberal. Well, I was totally wrong. Sure both Bush and Kerry were douches, but as I said before I don’t think anything could get more liberal votes out than this election. The problem is that there are simply more conservative voters out there plain and simple.

But how? Where did they come from?

Another thing this election showed me is that I was wrong about the media. I always thought that calling the media liberally biased was some conservative conspiracy. I was convinced the majority of the population was just like me and Bruce Springstein in our political views. That the conservative religious right was a small bunch of crazies out in the Midwest. Apparently this small bunch is, in fact, the majority of the United States population.

But where were they during the 90s and where did they come from now? I suspect that they were always there, it’s just they, much like liberals now, felt that Democrats and Republicans were the same.

Voting didn’t matter because the government was corrupt either way. Here’s where I have to applaud the Bush administration for being so resourceful, noticing an opportunity and seizing it by the balls. Realizing that the religious right would be more concerned with moral issues than the floundering economy, they pandered to this enormous group of voters. Dad may have lost his job down at the plant, but still, two dudes kissing is wicked gross. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut and went to school at Yale University, but somehow acquired his good ol’ boy southern drawl.

It seems unfair for me to generalize like this, but looking at the electoral map and what states voted for whom, there is an undeniable connection to region and political stance. The scary question for the liberals now is this: where do we go from here?

Unless there is a major shift in political orientation in the American people, how at all can a Democrat get elected president? The way I see it there are two possible outcomes. 1) They don’t. If the voters are conservative, than they’ll vote Republican and the Democrats don’t have a chance. 2) Out-conservative the conservatives and compromise the liberal agenda enough to capture the hearts and minds of the swing voters. As a liberal, it looks like a real lose-lose situation. Welcome to America.

Denez McAdoo is both a card-carrying member of the ACLU and a registered Republican. Go figure.